The Campbells have a beautiful home in Tennessee featuring a two story south facing atrium with a koi pond and a custom home aquaponic system. Their biggest joy is harvesting and eating the food produced by the system such as lettuces, tomatoes, kale and herbs. One of the more interesting and unique plants they have been growing is Baby Gem Dwarf Boxwood trees. The Campbells own a landscaping business and have been planting boxwoods for several generations. The hardwood stem cuttings are taken from the dwarf boxwoods and the fiberous root systems grow amazingly well in the aquaponic DWC troughs. Traditionally these plants were started in a greenhouse with hot water coils under the sand. Cuttings would be transplanted into the sand and would remain in the greenhouse from January to June before being dug out of the sand and transplanted into 3″ clay pots. The propagation time of over 6 months before transplanting has been significantly cut down by the aquaponic system. In only four months now the plant has gone from a stem cutting to a plant that can hardly fit into a one gallon container due to the root mass. After four months they will now transplant the boxwood into a 15 gallon container in the field under a drip irrigation system.
The Campbells also recently enjoyed their first Tilapia fish taco party and are looking to transition to hybrid striped bass.
The aquaponic system features a custom home AquaBundance Modular 6 media bed system with our 4’ x 28’ elevated deep water culture trough. Both growing systems feature a custom powder coated finish picked by the client to match the interior of their atrium. The light rack extensions have been added to support supplemental overhead grow lighting. The system also features a 300 Gallon fish tank with an acrylic viewing window connected to an Endurance 2000 auto-backwashing filter. The filter flows water in to the plant sump and also has an airlift return to send filtered water directly back to the fish tank. The airlift return allows the fish and plant systems to be fully decoupled so they can run independently from one another. The plant system has it’s own dedicated sump and pumping system for both coupled and decoupled operations.
Water is supplied to a custom designed wicking bed (2′ wide x 2′ tall x 24′ long) by the aquaponic system by a one way water feed with an auto-top off float valve. Water does not return from the wicking bed back to the fish tank. The wicking bed has it’s own built in sump that serves as a nutrient and leveling reservoir so it can also be run independently from the aquaponic system. A dedicated compost tea brewer for additional mineralization of fish wastes is also included along with 6 AquaVertica Towers for plant production directly over the fish tank. The towers drip into the fish tank providing additional aeration while also providing shade from the direct sunlight for the fish.